Best Exercises for Improving Strength and Speed

Speed and strength training are important whether you’re a professional athlete, particularly a football player or boxer, or simply want to improve your overall fitness level. In recent years, even runners have discovered the benefits of strength training for speed, considering squats and other exercises that can make them more efficient, powerful, and faster, as well as less injury-prone.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that of the exercises used to boost strength and speed, over 86 percent of runners performed stretches while more than 70 percent worked on core training. Nearly two-thirds take part in resistance training, while more than a third said they perform plyometric exercises, something that involves explosive movements like jumping.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to improve your speed and strength, these are some of the best reasons to do just that.

Indoor Punching Bag

One of the best activities you can perform to boost strength and speed can be performed on an indoor punching bag. Using it for speed bag workouts helps you become faster while improving punching power. A punching workout is a cardio exercise that improves aerobic fitness by involving various movements around the bag as you change positions.

Whether you use a heavy bag or a speed bag, staying on your toes carrying weight from one foot to the other as you punch the bag helps to strengthen your core. You’ll also be working numerous muscles, including the shoulders, arms, back, chest, and waist.

Of course, just like any exercise, the benefits of a punching bag only come with consistent, regular workouts. Consider using the method martial artists do by attacking the bag for a few minutes at a time and then resting for a minute in between rounds.

The Box Jump

Box jump training works all your leg muscles while strengthening your core using your own body weight. Performing this exercise will boost your endurance, improve your cardiovascular health and your speed. Plus, you’ll burn up to 1,000 calories an hour with explosive plyometric training.

To do this exercise you’ll face a weight bench, aerobic step, or a sturdy box, standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Go into a squat and then quickly jump up onto the box, landing softly. Stay in control, keeping both feet on the box and then step back down one foot at a time. Repeat, aiming to perform three sets of eight reps.

The Deadlift

A deadlift develops propulsive force in your hip extensors and glutes, which results in greater strength and speed in your push-off, particularly helpful for runners, boxers, and many other athletes.

Start by placing two dumbbells or a kettlebell on the floor in front of you, standing with your feet on either side of it. Hinge at your hips, keeping a slight bend in your knees while maintaining a flat back. Engage your core and drive your feet into the floor, then squeeze your glutes as you stand back up. Reverse the motion, lowering the weight back to the floor. Repeat for a total of two sets of eight reps.

Photo Credits

Boxer is from pixabay

Deadlift is from pixabay

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